It’s an annual tradition that has been bringing a touch of the country to the city for close to 80 years. But now, Hurlstone Agricultural High School’s annual Country Fair is under threat following the Liberal Government’s shameless decision to sell off the school’s Farm to developers.
The Hurlstone Country Fair came remarkably close to being cancelled this year after the school’s P&C Committee struggled to gain volunteer support for the annual school fundraiser. Then, on 24th July – just six weeks out from the event, a letter from the school’s deputy principal was circulated on social media stating that the Fair would be going ahead on 2nd September.
Despite this, local MP Anoulack Chanthivong has called this year’s event “the end of an era” and condemned the Liberal Government for setting the wheels in motion for the incremental demise of Hurlstone at Glenfield.
Just last month, the Sydney South West Planning Panel approved a development application for Hurlstone which Mr Chanthivong labelled a Trojan Horse and said would lead to the “full-scale carve up and destruction of Hurlstone and its Farm at Glenfield”.
Mr Chanthivong has long been fighting to save the Hurlstone Farm and stop the school’s imminent move to the Hawkesbury in a deal with Western Sydney University, announced in late 2015 by then NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli. Under the deal, the Hurlstone Farm – home of the Country Fair – would be sold to developers to make way for more concrete and congestion.
“Not only is our community set to lose one of our best schools and one of the only fully functioning urban farms in south west Sydney, we are now also set to lose one of our greatest and proudest traditions in the Hurlstone Country Fair,” said Mr Chanthivong.
“All because of a greedy land grab by this Liberal Government at the expense of our community. When we farewell the Country Fair at Glenfield it will be a sad day for our community, and we will mourn the loss of this educational experience, where city kids can gain a real taste of the country – second only to Sydney’s Royal Easter Show.
“It’s simply not fair that kids from our region are being robbed of this opportunity. Just as it’s not fair that we are set to lose an educational icon and our precious green open space is being destroyed. I won’t give up the fight – Hands Off Hurlstone.”